In America, it is common to take mothers for granted and reject the advice they try to give. Generally, their attempt to give advice is considered as an intrusion into our lives and our privacy. In The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan tries to get the reader to take a step back and see the good intentions behind our mother's actions.
In the stories told by Jing-Mei, Tan weaves in flashbacks and memories of Jing-Mei's own childhood experiences, including stories she has heard of her mother Suyuan's early life in China. These stories help to explain why she teaches her daughter the v alues of optimism and determination. As the reader encounters these flashbacks, Suyuan's tragic history is revealed. When the war reaches her town, Suyuan loses everything she owns, and in an attempt to save her own life by fleeing from China she is force d to leave her two twin babies behind on the side of the road in hopes they might have a chance at a good life. Jing-Mei recalls that her mother "had come here in 1949 after losing everything in China... but she never looked back with regret. There w ere so many ways for things to get better"(Tan 132). As Suyuan's past is revealed, the reader can not help but realize her determination, optimism, and strong will as she perseveres against the odds to establish a better life in America. Suyuan tries to pass on her virtues of determination, optimism, and perseverance to her American born daughter Jing-Mei. Jing-Mei's mother sees American movie stars performing on the television set and believes that with hard work and practice her daughter can aspire to the same stardom. Despite the constant protests of her daughter, Suyuan forces her to practice t...
... middle of paper ...
...lub, Tan forces us as readers to take a step back from our own lives so that we might realize all the good intentions of our own mother's actions. Perhaps we can understand the reasoning behind our mother's advice and the impact that it has had in our lives.
Foster, M. Marie Booth. "Voice, Mind, Self: Mother-Daughter Relationships in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club and The Kitchen God's Wife." Women of Color: Mother Daughter Relationships in 20th Century Literature. Ed. Elizabeth Brown-Guillory. Austin: U of Texas P, 1996. 207-27.
Ghymn, Ester Mikyung. Images of Asian American Women by Asian American Women Writers. Vol. 1. New York: Peter Lang, 1995.
Huntley, E. D. Amy Tan: A Critical Companion. Westport: Greenwood P, 1998.
Tan, Amy. The Joy Luck Club. Vintage Contemporaries. New York: A Division of Random House, Inc. 1993.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Relationships Between Mothers and Daughters in Tan's The Joy Luck Club “Now the woman was old. And she had a daughter who grew up speaking only English and swallowing more Coca-Cola than sorrow. For a long time now the woman had wanted to give her daughter the single swan feather and tell her, “This feather may look worthless, but it comes from afar and carries with it all my good intentions.” And she waited, year after year, for the day she could tell her daughter this in perfect American English (Tan 3).” The American culture focuses more on the individual. Typical Americans always want to be independent. Traditionally, they never appreciate anything that they have, are selfish, an... [tags: Joy Luck Club Essays]
1460 words (4.2 pages)
- Mothers and Daughters in Joy Luck Club Amy Tan's novel, The Joy Luck Club, explores the relationships and experiences of four Chinese mothers and four Chinese-American daughters. The difference in upbringing of those women born during the first quarter of this century in China, and their daughters born in California, is undeniable. From the beginning of the novel, you hear Suyuan Woo tell the story of "The Joy Luck Club," a group started by some Chinese women during World War II, where "we feasted, we laughed, we played games, lost and won, we told the best stories.... [tags: Joy Luck Club Essays]
621 words (1.8 pages)
- Mothers and Daughters in The Joy Luck Club Although mothers and daughters are genetically related, sometimes they seem like complete strangers. When immigrants raise their children in America, there is a great concern for these parents that American culture will negatively affect their children. In the novel, The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, four mothers try to instill their Asian culture into their daughters' lifestyle; however, these daughters rebel against them, due to their desire to assimilate themselves into American culture.... [tags: Joy Luck Club Essays]
547 words (1.6 pages)
- "A mother is best. A mother knows what is inside of you," said An-Mei Hsu to her daughter Rose (188). And this is true for all four of the mothers in the Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan. Unfortunately it was much more complicated than that, because the daughters had minds of their own, to a certain extent, minds that were part American. "The emphasis on honor, obedience, and loyalty among women are immense in this novel" (The Joy Luck Club: An Overview). In America, these characteristics were not emphasized nearly as much – and that is what caused tension between mother and daughter.... [tags: Joy Luck Club Essays]
1329 words (3.8 pages)
- Chinese Mothers and their American Daughters in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club ““No choice. No choice!” She doesn’t know. If she doesn’t speak, she is making a choice. If she doesn?t try, she can lose her chance forever. I know this because I was raised the Chinese way: I was taught to desire nothing, to swallow other people?s misery, to eat my own bitterness. And even though I taught my daughter the opposite, still she came out the same way. Maybe it is because she was born to me and she was born a girl.... [tags: Joy Luck Club Essays]
1576 words (4.5 pages)
- Bonds Between Mothers and Daughters in Amy Tan’s Joy Luck Club A good mother-daughter relationship is beneficial for both the mother and the daughter. This definitely comes into play in Amy Tan’s novel titled “The Joy Luck Club.” The story is about four sets of Chinese mothers and daughters, and their first experience of growing in America. All of the mothers want to raise their children in the traditional Chinese way and still allow them to be all that they can be in America. This causes many conflicts between them when the daughters act too American and the mothers act too Chinese.... [tags: Joy Luck Club Essays]
2205 words (6.3 pages)
- Mothers and Daughters in Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club Throughout Amy Tan’s novel, The Joy Luck Club, the reader can see the difficulites in the mother-daughter relationships. The mothers came to America from China hoping to give their daughters better lives than what they had. In China, women were “to be obedient, to honor one’s parents, one’s husband, and to try to please him and his family,” (Chinese-American Women in American Culture). They were not expected to have their own will and to make their own way through life. These mothers did not want this for their children so they thought that in America “nobody [would] say her worth [was] measured by the loudness of her husband’s belch... [tags: Joy Luck Club Essays]
1798 words (5.1 pages)
- Similar Roles of Mothers and Daughters in Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club The Joy Luck Club, a novel by Amy Tan, is structured in an unusual way. It is divided into four different sections. Each section has four stories told by four different women. In the first section all the mothers, in the Joy Luck Club, talk about their childhood. In the next two sections the daughters talk about their childhood and their experiences through life. In the last section the four mothers speak about the stories of when they were younger, around their daughters' age. This novel explores countless topics. Not only does it deal with gender identity and the relationships between Chinese-American c... [tags: Joy Luck Club Essays]
1023 words (2.9 pages)
- The Growth of Mothers and Daughters in Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club Every twelve months of every year the seasons change from spring, summer, fall and then winter. The cycle repeats itself every year having similar weather conditions as the previous season before. Like the four seasons mother and daughter are very similar in the way they change and grow throughout time. A mother learns from her mother and then passes on her morals and rituals on to her daughters. As the daughters grow with age they have a tendency to take on many qualities of their mothers such as their cultural ways and some day they will pass these traits onto their children. Through years of experience and hard work... [tags: Joy Luck Club Essays]
996 words (2.8 pages)
- Mothers and the Chinese Spirit in Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club The Joy Luck Club is the telling of a tale of struggle by four mothers and their four daughters trying to understand the issue of gender identity, how they each discover or lose their sense of self and what they mean to one another. Throughout the book each of the mothers works hard at teaching their daughters the virtues of Chinese wisdom while allowing the opportunities of American life. They try passing on a piece of themselves despite the great barriers that are built between the women.... [tags: Joy Luck Club]
2111 words (6 pages)